A return to Russia

Posted March 6, 2007 by Rob Howells
Categories: news

Barclays intends to return to the Russian market. Foreign banks aren’t allowed to operate in Russia but Barclays is so eager to selflessly help customers around the world that it’s found a way to circumvent the rule: buying Russian companies that already have banking licenses.

This is not the first time Barclays has entered the Russian market, but it had left the country after having lost a quarter billion pounds during the 1998 debt default crisis. Financial analysts worried about a looming consumer debt crisis in Russia may find Barclays renewed foray puzzling, but the company is guided by people who seem to be at the top of their game…

Not only has it recently hired Frederik (Frits) Seegers, who successfully built Citigroup’s network of retail branches in Russia, as head of global retail banking operations, but Barclays’ chairman is none other than Hans-Jorg Rudloff – who is also on the board of Rosneft.

Combining Russian experience on the ground and at the management level may just prove to be a winning strategy for Barclays.

It seems Barclays really is the bank of choice for those who don’t want a silly thing like the law to get in the way of more money.

Kenyan profit surge

Posted March 6, 2007 by Rob Howells
Categories: news

It seems Barclays profit increases were huge in Kenya last year. The bank intends to open more branches there.

The bank’s profit before tax last year increased by 19 per cent to Ksh6.475 billion ($92.5 million) compared with with Ksh5.427 billion ($77.5 million) recorded the previous year, according to results released last week by the bank’s managing director, Aden Mohamed.

The expansion, said Mr Mohamed, will not only enable the bank to grow its balance sheet, but also enhance shareholder returns, improve customer service and make a higher contribution to the exchequer.


Read more…

Property helps create super-rich

Posted March 6, 2007 by Rob Howells
Categories: news

A survey from Barclays has shown that property is a key factor in creating Britain’s super-rich.

House prices and earnings are working together to keep the concentration of wealth highest in the south-east and the capital, the survey shows.

Moreover, income from property ownership has proved decisive in shaping the fortunes of the wealthiest Britons, according to the survey – 44 per cent of respondents had profited from property purchase, making it the second most important factor determining wealth, behind savings from earning and ahead of inherited money.

Read more…

Looks like I’m about to become a raging capitalist then, having had an offer accepted on a flat recently. I’ve absolutely not gone for a Barclyas/Woolwich mortgage.

Carbon neutral banking?

Posted February 27, 2007 by Rob Howells
Categories: news

A leading investment bank is to launch a product offering exposure to global carbon market prices.

Barclays Capital has announced that it is to launch an investment product designed to expose investors to carbon market risk. The product concerned is a tracker that follows worldwide CO2 price movements. Although carbon markets are still in their infancy and volatile, this could prove an opportunity to effectively make money from thin air.

Read more…

Blogging the bank

Posted February 27, 2007 by Rob Howells
Categories: personal

Barclays logoWelcome to ‘Can I Help?’. I’m a Barclays Bank customer who, at the time of writing, is reclaiming unfair bank charges.

While that may look like I dislike my bank I’m well aware that the charges are not a Barclays-specific problem. A big part of what I expect to get out of this is forming a more concrete opinion on how the group works and whether I ultimately agree with its decisions.

Now there’s a thought.